Newsletter 1 – 2014/15
9th September 2014
It is a pleasure to welcome you all back as we start a new school year and I would also like to say a privilege to be working with the children and families at St Mary’s. I hope you all had an enjoyable summer break and made the most of the good weather. It’s been lovely to see the children so excited and refreshed ready to start the new school year.
We would like to give our new families a warm welcome into our reception year. We hope you all enjoy your time with us. We are also delighted to welcome Miss Becky Ryan who will be teaching in Oak Class this year to cover the secondment of Emma O’Neil who has taken up an acting Deputy Headship at Broadmayne First School. Hollie McLaren will also continue her role as a 1:1 support Teaching Assistant in Maple Class this year.
Our new Reception children will have come back to a wonderful surprise when they see the newly designed and resourced outdoor area. Our thanks and gratitude go to the members of staff who spent time in their holiday to do this. In particular, Sonia Newman, Claudia Carter and Nina Guy. It will enable the children to access the same areas of learning both indoors and outdoors and is an important part of the Early Years provision.
There is now a bug hotel with planting areas, music wall, outdoor kitchen and workbench. We relied heavily on donations from local businesses and the generosity of families in school. A big thank you also goes to Phil Thompson whose creative woodworking skills have built us the three fantastic units. Thank you to Alex Emery for donating some fantastic resources and assisting with the tidying and cleaning of the toys. We have been humbled by the generosity of four local companies: Dorchester Timber and Townsends who both donated large quantities of wood and fixings for the projects, John Carter Plumbing who kindly donated a sink for the kitchen unit and Chris Luff from Bradfords who donated the gravel and play sand, without these donations we wouldn’t have been able to start the project, so thank you, we are very grateful. Tony Draper, our handyman, has again been decorating parts of the school for us during the break.
I would also like to thank you for all your positive comments from the Parent Survey. We will be continuing this term with the Parent Council which will meet in the second half of the term, dates and times will follow nearer the time. We are in the process of launching a new school website; in the meantime if you would like any information about the School or the School Curriculum for the year, please don’t hesitate in talking to our staff and the class teachers who will be happy to share this with you.
We attach a copy of our annual Family-School-Child agreement for everyone (apart from new Reception parents who have already received a copy).
As before, I will hope to keep you informed of all school events through a regular newsletter about once a month. Additionally the enclosed calendar shows events for the school year 2014-15. We hope you find this useful. Both newsletters and calendar will be found on our website when it is launched.
As this is the first newsletter of the term there now follows quite a lot more information. For those receiving this by email all reply slips are being sent home by pupil post for your convenience.
It is always a delight to announce our DASP Citizens for the year. Well done to those children voted for by their peers last term who demonstrated the 7 citizenship qualities in their work and play, in and around the school. They were Emily Harron, Lucy Baker, Daniel White, Leila Phillips, Sophie Hennessy, Tilly Kane, Amelie Richardson, Maia Tucker, Rosie Franzen, Presley House and Hattie Fowgies. They all received an award at the end of last term in recognition of this achievement.
Extended School Facilities
May we remind you that we run our own child care from 8.00am to 6.00pm through our Breakfast Club and Kool Kidz KluB. Information on both can be sought through our school office. Breakfast Club is £2.50 and Kool Kidz KluB is £6.50 until 5.00pm and £8.50 until 6.00pm. You are able to pay for this via the School Gateway.
As in previous years we will be offering you the opportunity to attend your child’s class assembly. Each class will do two over the year as follows:
Autumn: Linden, Rowan, Ash Spring: All classes Summer: Beech, Oak, Maple, Willow
The class assembly dates for each term are set out on the calendar. We are also re-launching our SEAL assemblies which will now be known as Jigsaw assemblies. This is a more up to date approach to teaching children about not just social and emotional attitudes to their learning but also spiritual development, helping children to know and value who they are and understand how they relate to other people the world. All parents/carers are very welcome to join us for these assemblies. I would also like to thank the School Association who have funded all the resources and materials for teaching Jigsaw.
Attached to this newsletter (sent home via pupil post for those receiving email) will be the current data we hold on your child (children in Years 1, 2, 3 and 4). We would be very grateful if you could check it, make amendments where appropriate and return it to school as soon as possible as it is very important we hold up to date information.
As in previous years we would very much like to encourage the children to keep to fruit or vegetables as a snack during their morning break. Children in Reception, Year 1 and 2 will have fruit or vegetables provided for them through the government scheme. This scheme is voluntary, and although there is no obligation for your child to take part, I hope you will share our belief that it has many benefits. It is a great way to help us teach your children the benefits of healthy eating. If you do not wish your child to participate in the scheme, you must let us know immediately. It is essential that you inform us of any allergies your child may have so that we can ensure they are not given anything that might harm them. May we also remind you that we do encourage all the children to have a drinking bottle in school for water.
Class Termly Letter With Termly Voluntary Donation Request
Your child’s class teacher will shortly be informing you by letter of their classroom arrangements and topics for the term. The teachers are always available if you have any matters you wish to discuss. This is best done with them after school. If it is urgent could it please be done during arrival time (8.30 to 8.45am), and not once school has started. We request voluntary contributions on a termly basis to avoid the possible situation of having several requests each term for such events as school trips and theatre performances. We have found for the past few years this has worked very well. The request for this voluntary contribution will be in the class termly letter and we thank you in anticipation of this support. Please remember we prefer payments to be made via the School Gateway wherever possible. Details of how to access this service are attached for new parents or those of you who have yet to sign up.
Permission Slip For All Walking Trips During the Year
There are occasions each term when your child’s class may leave the school premises to go on a walking trip in the locality or indeed to the church. To avoid the difficulties we experience in trying to ensure permission is granted by the parent/carer of every child (often requiring telephone calls on the morning of a trip) we use the attached permission slip to cover all such trips. These are only for walking locally and parents/carers are still informed prior to going via the children. We hope you feel able to complete and return this slip as in previous years to cover this year. These have already been collected for Reception children.
Parents’ use of photos taken in school
Parents will often understandably want to take photographs of activities in school involving their children. Whilst in most instances this will not be a problem it is possible they will, in all innocence, make them available more widely. The popularity of social networking sites means that parents might put photographs from school on to ‘Facebook’, or something similar. If the photograph only includes their child, then that is entirely up to them. However, if it includes other children (or adults), then this can be a problem. Permission for their images to be used on a website outside school may not have been granted.
We do not want to stop parents from taking photographs of their children at school events. However in order for us to have a system of accountability we would be grateful if the slip attached to this newsletter could be returned, regardless of whether you intend to take photographs. I do hope you understand these issues of photography in school and what can happen if they are carelessly passed on. Again, these have already been distributed to Reception children.
We are delighted to be able to offer the following clubs this term
|Club||Year Group(s)||Day/Time||Leader(s)||Start date||End date|
|Gardening**(6 weeks)||Year 3||Mondays3.00 – 4.00pm||Julie May||Monday29 September||Monday10 November|
|Bugingham Bug Palace (7weeks)||Years 1-4||Mondays3.00 – 4.00pm||Kate Brake||Monday29 September||Monday18 November|
|Gymnastics**(7 weeks)||Years 2||Mondays3.00 – 4.00pm||Emma Lawrence||Monday29 September||Monday17 November|
|Comic Making(6 weeks)***||Year 4||Wednesdays***3.00 – 4.00pm||Lyn Charles||Wednesday***2 October||Wednesday20 November|
|Country Dancing(6 weeks)||Years 1 and 2||Thursdays****3.00 – 4.00pm||Cathy Clack||Thursday****2 October||Thursday20 November|
|Choir(7 weeks)||Years 3 and 4||Thursdays3.00 – 4.00pm||Jane Joy||Thursday2 October||Thursday20 November|
|Playtime Pal training *****(4 weeks)||Year 4||Fridays3.00 – 4.00pm||Kate Brake||Friday12 September||Friday3 October|
|Footie for Dorset||Year 3 and 4||Wednesday3.00-4.15pm||Lee Cuff||Wednesday 10 September||Wednesday 22 October|
|Football||Years 2, 3 and 4||Saturdays11.00-12.00pm||Chris Oram||Saturday 13 September||TBC|
** places are limited and you will be informed if your child has a place
*** please note the club will not meet on Wednesday 22 October
**** please note the club will not meet on Thursday 23 October
***** Y4 have already had details
If your child would like to attend any of these after school clubs could you please sign and return the slip attached to this newsletter by Monday 22nd September 2014, giving your permission. If you require further information on any club please speak with the person running it.
Brass Music Lessons
Dave Ansell, is offering one to one or small group lessons on brass instruments again this year. If your child is in Year 3 or 4 and would like to learn a brass instrument, you can either get details form the DASP website or pick up a form in the office.
Children’s School Attendance
Please may we remind you that there are now no ‘holiday forms’ and that children’s absence from school through taking holidays in term time will be unauthorised. National regulations which came into force last September make it clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’. In the meantime if you plan to keep your child off school could you please inform the school office or your child’s class teacher. If you feel there are exceptional circumstances please put this in writing to Cathy Clack.
Free School Meals
I would like to thank you for your support whilst we sorted out the teething problems with the delivery of our Free School Meals. Although all Reception and Key Stage 1 children are now able to have a free school meal under the new Government scheme, it is still very important that you apply for them if you think you may be eligible. This is because we will receive extra funding to support children in the school and we would not want to miss out on this. You can check online to find out if you are eligible at the following address https://www.dorsetforyou.com/free-school-meals or if you would like the school to support you with this, I am happy for you to come in and discuss it with me further.
Oak Apple has been providing us with school uniform for many years and we now have an established online ordering service. The attached leaflet explains how it all works. Those unable to access a computer can order over the telephone or speak with Jane or Bev in our office.
Bad Weather/Emergency Arrangements
It may seem premature but we would like to explain our arrangements in the event of extreme weather. For those children who travel by bus, the company make their own decision as to whether or not to run. If the bus does not arrive in the morning, then it will not pick up in the afternoon either. Parents must use their judgement about making an alternative arrangement for transport. Our school will always be open provided that we have sufficient staff, heating and water. Normal lessons may not take place if several staff cannot get in but the children would be well supervised. However in the event of a difficult or unpredictable scenario we will inform you by texting and email. You can also log in to http://mapping.dorsetforyou.com/closedservices to find out if the school is closed. Alternatively please telephone the school office from 7.30am or tune into Wessex FM (97.2) for information.
Dates for the term
|1 Sept||Staff training day|
|2 Sept||Staff training day|
|3 Sept||Term begins for children|
|12 Sept||Launch of Jigsaw assembly 9.00am|
|18 Sept||Governors’ Personnel Committee 1.30pm|
|18 Sept||Governors’ Finance/Buildings com 7.15pm|
|23 Sept||Governors’ Curriculum Committee 1.15pm|
|25-26 Sept||Life Education Mobile Classroom|
|30 Sept||Full Governors’ meeting 7.15pm|
|1 Oct||Harvest Festival assembly 9.00am & 2.00pm|
|9 Oct||Foundation Governors 2.00pm|
|15 Oct||School Association AGM|
|20 Oct||Jigsaw assembly 9.00am|
|21/22/23 Oct||Parent/Teacher consultations 3.30 – 6.00pm|
|22 Oct||Reception parents’ coffee morning 8.45am|
|20-24 Oct||DASP Rights Respecting Week|
|27-31 OCT||Half – Term|
|3 Nov||Staff training day|
|7 Nov||Jigsaw assembly 9.00am|
|7 Nov||Y4 Science visit St Osmunds|
|10-14 Nov||Book Week|
|11 Nov||Governors’ Personnel Committee 1.30pm|
|13 Nov||Ash class assembly 9.00am|
|18 Nov||Governors’ Curriculum Committee 1.15pm|
|20 Nov||Rowan class assembly 9.00am|
|20 Nov||Governors’ Finance/Buildings com 7.15pm|
|27 Nov||Linden class assembly 9.00am|
|28 Nov||Jigsaw assembly 9.00am|
|3 Dec||Full Governors meeting 7.15pm|
|5 Dec||School Association Christmas Fair|
|9 Dec||Christmas performance school hall 9.15am|
|10 Dec||Christmas performance Charlton Down 6.00pm|
|11 Dec||Christmas performance school hall 9.15am|
|17 Dec||Children’s Christmas party 1.00pm|
|18 Dec||Carol Service School Hall 2.00pm|
|19 Dec||Last Day of Term|